Christians Against Poverty debt and budget programs call for participants

HELP: Steve Wood from Cessnock Congregational Church and centre manager for the Cessnock debt and budget program Wayne Cooke of New Vine Vineyards Church.
HELP: Steve Wood from Cessnock Congregational Church and centre manager for the Cessnock debt and budget program Wayne Cooke of New Vine Vineyards Church.

A local program which helps people get out of debt and improve budgeting is calling for more participants.

Five Cessnock churches - New Vine Vineyards Church, the Salvation Army Church, The Vines Community Church, Cessnock Congregational Church and Beyond Church - have combined to offer the money programs through the charity Christians Against Poverty.

They have been running a debt counselling program and a budgeting course for a bit over a year and helped 11 clients work through their debt and dozens more improve their money planning.

The debt initiative works by the providing financial information to reduce debt while maintaining a budget.

Centre manager for the Cessnock program, Wayne Cooke of New Vine Vineyards Church, said the program also helped with things like stopping interest and improving credit ratings.

While the budget course is a three week program that helps people before they reach the point of debt by educating them on how to manage their money.

Mr Cooke said the free program had been successful, with one participant even given a car donated by a Hunter Valley resident who knew the charity.

"People are really amazed by it," he said. "Once they do the debt course, we strongly encourage them to do the CAP money course so hopefully we don't see them again."

For information about the debt program, call 1300 227 000 and for the money course, call Wayne on 0484 591 218.